The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method given by Francesco Cirillo. It is a proven and popular time management life hack. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. Each interval is known as a pomodoro (Pomodoro is the Italian word for tomato). After about four pomodoros, you take a longer break of about 15 to 20 minutes.
There are six steps in the original technique:
- Decide on the task to be done.
- Set the pomodoro timer (traditionally to 25 minutes).
- Work on the task
- End work when the timer rings and put a checkmark on a piece of paper.
- If you have fewer than four checkmarks, take a short break (3–5 minutes), then go to step 2.
- After four pomodoros, take a longer break ( approximately 15–30 minutes), reset your checkmark count to zero, then go to step 1.
The idea behind the technique is that the timer instills a sense of urgency. Rather than feeling like you have endless time in the workday to get things done and then ultimately squandering those precious work hours on distractions, you know you only have 25 minutes to make as much progress on a task as possible.
Additionally, the forced breaks help to cure that frazzled, burnt-out feeling most of us experience toward the end of the day. It’s impossible to spend hours in front of your computer without even realizing it, as that ticking timer reminds you to get up and take a breather.
The result is greatly improved productivity during focused work sessions, that can be maintained through effectively managing distractions and taking regular breaks.
The technique has been widely popularized by dozens of apps and websites providing timers and instructions.
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